A pair of NSA recruiters gave a presentation to University of Wisconsin language students about why they should consider a career with the NSA. Typical stuff for a college career fair. But it’s doubtful that the recruiters anticipated being barraged with questions about the recent controversies surrounding the agency. The Huffington Post reports:
[Madiha] Tahir, a PhD candidate at Columbia University currently attending the University of Wisconsin for a summer class, reported that she spoke up about half an hour into the recruiters’ presentation, challenging them on their use of the word “adversary” to describe seemingly all potential surveillance targets, therefore including European allies like Germany. They argued about syntax, and the back-and-forth continued: Students pressed the representatives to defend the legality of the agency’s massive data collection programs, called them out on lies told by their superiors, and were asked, in response to the recruiters’ descriptions of a fun-loving office culture, if NSA employees really “just dress up in costumes and get drunk?”
The Huffington Post’s piece includes audio of the students’ questions and statements to the NSA recruiters. Needless to say, this was no average career pitch.